PLAINFIELD CHARTENSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — After all the snow that has fallen in West Michigan over the past few days, Cannonsburg Ski Area is hard at work getting ready for the season opener.
But don’t count on the slopes just yet.
Good news: Canonsburg just started snowing Friday night, thanks to temperatures in the low 20s. But when the lifts will start, it depends on Mother Nature.
In an interview with News 8 Saturday afternoon, Canonsburg Ski Area Marketing Director Danielle Musta would not say when the resort would reopen, explaining that “we’re not doing anything yet.”
“Preparations are in full swing,” Musto said. “We’ve had to wait for temperatures to drop into the mid-20s, but if you look outside, all of our snow guns are firing and we’re very excited about this winter.”
The ski resort usually opens before the Christmas holidays. The resort uses artificial snow.
“We need feet and feet of snow, but natural snow is always the icing on the cake,” Musto said. “Everybody loves that fresh bunch; it’s always the best.’
Musto promised that the resort will “open as soon as possible.”
“We just need Mother Nature to cooperate a little bit and keep it cold,” Musto said. “We need a few feet of snow as a really good base, and we have a very wide base.”
Musto said as long as it stays in the 20s, they could continue to make snow and potentially open even sooner.
“We always look at the extended forecast,” Musta explained. “While we occasionally make snow when possible, the temperature will get up to 30-40 degrees and we can’t make snow in that temperature. We have to wait until the temperature drops to the mid-20s.”
“We need a few feet, and that’s a few feet after it’s taken care of,” Musto added. “We make big piles of snow so the snow also stays insulated when the temperature rises.”
While Canonsburg works to prepare the slopes, Kent County remains interested in buying the ski resort. The county will turn the property into a park while continuing to operate the ski area through a contractor.
Kent County is waiting to hear back from the DNR on its grant application to make the purchase possible.
Musta says no matter what happens, skiing is here to stay in Canonsburg.
“Everybody respects Kent County Parks,” Musto said. “They preserve green spaces. I can also assure everyone that Cannonsberg Ski Area is not going anywhere. This is a local ski hill in West Michigan and we love the ski industry. People should not worry. The Cannonsberg ski area remains.’
With a possible sale in the air, Cannonsburg remains focused on the big months ahead. On Saturday, they noted that Moosejaw, a Michigan-based retailer, opened a new store in the home. It is filled to the brim with ski gear and ready to service skis and snowboards.
Moosejaw replaces the previous Summit Sports store, which closed on New Year’s Eve after the company filed for bankruptcy.
“It was really a big disappointment for the West Michigan community in general and the Canonsburg Ski Area in particular,” Musto said of the Summit’s closure. “Because we have so many families come to Canonsburg to get their skis and snowboards serviced during the winter season.”
Musto called the lack of a store “a huge disservice.”
“Not only do we have customers who come here regularly, but all the local ski teams train here soon,” added Musto. “So they always need to wax and tune their skis. To be able to have Moosejaw here is amazing.”
As the season approaches, Musto said the ski resort is doing well with the number of staff, but they could always use more. She encouraged people to apply through them site.
“We hire almost 300 people for the winter season,” she said. “So if anyone is looking for full-time, part-time and wants to work outdoors in a fun environment, I’d say apply.”